A patient complained to her physician that the fentanyl patch
he had prescribed for her pain was not working. After talking
with her, he found out that she was putting the patch on her
upper chest and holding it in place with tape. Problem solved!
Patches are just like Band-aid® bandages. They have a
backing that you have to peel off, and then you put on the
patch. The patient in this case was not peeling off the backing,
and as a result, the drug inside the patch was not being released
into her body.
And for those of you who do use patches, when you remove
them, be sure to cut them in half with scissors, wrap them
in toilet paper, and flush them down the toilet. This prevents
small children and pets from getting into them and getting
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Family members or other caregivers removing patches should
avoid contact with the medication gels. If the gel accidentally
contacts the skin, the area should be washed with large amounts
of water. Do not use soap, alcohol or other solvents to remove
the gel because they may increase the drug's ability to go
through the skin. .